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[OSSR]Unknown Armies
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hyzmarca
Prince


Joined: 14 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:

Taboo: falling in love, or getting charges from only one person for a month.

The taboo is very easy to avoid, and, what I dislike, impossible to stage to leave the enemy adept without charges.


Of course you can stage it. It just requires you to turn your game into an extremely elaborate romantic comedy. Like My Fair Lady or Cyrano de Bergerac.
You find the perfect fit for your enemy adept, train and mold that person to push all of the adept's love buttons, and then guide them on a genuine whirlwind romance from behind the scenes.
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Occluded Sun
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't believe there's a Pornomancer power that makes someone become sexually obsessed with you for a month... but there should be.
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Cervantes
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Joined: 28 Jul 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Unknown Armies: Third Edition has been released
Some notable changes:
No base attributes. No different kinds of checks. It's all "roll under Skill or Identity". I cannot find the guidelines for when players need to roll. Fuck

Madness Meters are now "Shock Gauges". They are the same but are now tied in to particular skills for their saving throws.

The Skill system has been reworked.
"Default Skills" are now tied to Shock Gauges. There are 10 of them, 2 per Shock Gauge. They operate on an Open/Hardened dichotomy - you get 20% base and 5% for each Open/Hardened box you have in that meter. For example, someone with 5 Open boxes and 5 Hardened boxes in Self gets 40% Knowledge (based on Open) and 40% Lie (based on Hardened).

Instead of Skill pointbuy you instead do "Identity" pointbuy. Identities are similar to FATE Aspects where they apply whenever the DM agrees that they do (a Cowboy can use their Cowboy identity skill on Knowledge rolls related to, I dunno, ranches or whatever.) They can also substitute for a single Skill that you decide on ("Martial Artist" can substitute for Struggle, "Cowboy" can do, uh... Notice? Fuck if I know).
Identities also have two "features". There's example features given, they're actually pretty cool but I can't gauge their power. You could roll Cowboy in order to resist Violence stress checks for example (because Cowboys gotta kill animals, I'm making this up on the spot don't fault me). "Using Guns" is a feature too.
Identities can go up pretty high during pointbuy (90% or 85% i think) but you only "level up" your identity when you fail a roll with it, making a tradeoff between initial utility and longterm power. I'd just do 3 weak ones and one strong one to cover more bases.

Magickal identities don't get the "used when the DM agrees they can be used" thing which sucks and I'd ignore that rule. Smoker mages should be able to do Knowledge rolls with their Smoking-Magic skill. Fuck

Combat doesn't have Initiative anymore and you use higher skills to break ties. You can add bonuses and penalties to skills during rolls as a DM, though the guidelines are weird (-20% for being tied to a chair, -10% for a floor of broken glass)? I never really read the Combat rules too deeply bc they're fucking fiddly and boring

You have 5 relationships and they have percentiles as well and you can roll those percentiles instead of your skills when interacting with those people. At least one of those relationships is supposed to be another PC. Worldbuilding!

There's "Objectives" now. You do stuff to get them to 100% (petty tasks like 5%, big tasks like 15%, too lazy to check). At 100% you fulfill them automatically, no rolls required. DM approval required of course and you can't use Objectives to bend free will. DM approval required.

There's a lot more information about how to run and construct a game that actually gets the players interested in the world. Like, a LOT. I haven't read into it too deeply because I didn't care that much initially but the basic idea is "players, as a group, figure out what they want to accomplish and then try to accomplish it." But there's a fuckload more! With a corkboard and strings minigame!

-------------------------------------

I might do a thing abt it, i love the fluff of UA and reading the books is what got me interested in TTRPGs. And this thread was really one of the things that got me interested in TTRPG design and how it can end up undermining the fluff. I have been thinking about how you'd end up running percentile roll-under in a way that doesn't end up being comedy of errors.
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Omegonthesane
Duke


Joined: 26 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cervantes wrote:
I might do a thing abt it, i love the fluff of UA and reading the books is what got me interested in TTRPGs.

I can see where you're coming from but it really doesn't do enough to pitch what your stock campaign is. (Conversely, I clearly didn't read the fluff properly in places - I saw all the talk about the Resurrection Body ritual and assumed quite reasonably it was "raise a third party from the dead" not "gain an immortal body in a reference I didn't get until the OSSR of that one d20 Crusades supplement".)

Cervantes wrote:
And this thread was really one of the things that got me interested in TTRPG design and how it can end up undermining the fluff. I have been thinking about how you'd end up running percentile roll-under in a way that doesn't end up being comedy of errors.

TN 75 for skills you are mediocre at is probably a good start.
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erik
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Omegonthesane wrote:

Cervantes wrote:
And this thread was really one of the things that got me interested in TTRPG design and how it can end up undermining the fluff. I have been thinking about how you'd end up running percentile roll-under in a way that doesn't end up being comedy of errors.

TN 75 for skills you are mediocre at is probably a good start.


Ehhh. I'd start at or near 100 for mediocre, and then have penalties for difficulty modifiers. An average driver typically doesn't get in a wreck unless there's something else in play (bad road conditions, trying to multitask, speeding, etc).

So for skills you would want to make a decent list of standard modifiers. And you would also want a finite standard list of skills. Otherwise it's a tall order to write up modifiers for an infinite list of skills.
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Cervantes
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Joined: 28 Jul 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Omegonthesane wrote:
Cervantes wrote:
I might do a thing abt it, i love the fluff of UA and reading the books is what got me interested in TTRPGs.

I can see where you're coming from but it really doesn't do enough to pitch what your stock campaign is. (Conversely, I clearly didn't read the fluff properly in places - I saw all the talk about the Resurrection Body ritual and assumed quite reasonably it was "raise a third party from the dead" not "gain an immortal body in a reference I didn't get until the OSSR of that one d20 Crusades supplement".)

it's more "i like how it does urban horror fantasy". it's very anthropocentric whereas other takes on the same genre put more of a spotlight on non-human agents

UA3e has a finite set of skills if we take the 10 skills tied to Shock Gauges as the defaults but it's incomplete - "Casting Rituals" is a skill that's attached to Identities with that Feature and there's the various magic schools and avatars which use their Identity scores for rolls. you could start with those 10 scores tho and let casters pound sand
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cervantes wrote:
I have been thinking about how you'd end up running percentile roll-under in a way that doesn't end up being comedy of errors.


You basically can't. The advantage of d% roll-under is that it;s intuitively obvious what your chance to succeed is - your modified skill percentage is your success percentage. So congratulations, if you have a 95% modified skill, you have a 95% chance of success. The problem of course, is that as we see from various attempts at fumbles rules in D&D, that even a 5% of total failure is fucking low comedy.

The next issue is the jumping problem. We don't care about the question "Can your character jump?" because the answer in most cases is simply an uninteresting "Yes." The actual question we are asking is "How far can the character jump?" and while you can restate it into a question that a percentage of failure makes sense for as "Can your character jump far enough?" you're still back to the problem that a jump slightly farther than your normal jump should be about 50% and a jump slightly shorter than your normal jump should be close to 100%. But our system has to give us those numbers for two different characters whose normal jumps are very different.



Simply put, there's a reasonably narrow area where success and failure should be reasonably equal in probability for a lot of tasks. And for tasks that are substantially easier or more difficult than the ones that are about equally likely to succeed or fail should just always or almost always succeed or fail.

D% Roll-Under is great at telling you what the chances are, but it's fucking worthless in setting up those chances in the first place. Scaling difficulties and task modifiers just don't fucking work at all for this.

-Frank
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


Joined: 18 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

And a lot of the % roll-under systems either explicitly don't use modifiers or they use them unevenly; Basic Role Play/Call of Cthulhu and their derivative systems don't use modifiers in most permutations, while Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay uses them relatively irregularly - 2nd edition in particular had changes to your skill rating based on the difficulty of the task, which is about the best that you could hope for, and it's still shit s you have to consult at least one table for each and every roll.

So, as Frank says, it's really difficult to effectively emulate a degree of difficulty with % roll-under to begin with. Then you get shit like Unknown Armies that decides to do funny business with the dice - with certain things happening when you roll a double, or a 01 or whatever. Because you can do critical successes and failures on a straight target number roll (1 or 20 on a d20, for example, or exploding 6s on a d6), but trying to tack that hit on to a % roll-under just makes a fucking mess of a system, because you're removing the one benefit (simplicity of understanding your raw probability), in exchange for...wankishnss.
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Cervantes
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

yeah the flip flop thing and matched successes/failures is a massive pain when trying to decouple the system from the d100

maybe i should just run that shit with FATE or whatever

e: afaik d100 roll-under basically just assumes a single difficulty threshold for all tasks. my bold idea to fix it is letting players auto-succeed if it's below, auto-fail if it's above, and then refuse to ever let them influence me in any way by deciding which it is by rolling a d6


Last edited by Cervantes on Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cervantes wrote:
yeah the flip flop thing and matched successes/failures is a massive pain when trying to decouple the system from the d100

maybe i should just run that shit with FATE or whatever

e: afaik d100 roll-under basically just assumes a single difficulty threshold for all tasks. my bold idea to fix it is letting players auto-succeed if it's below, auto-fail if it's above, and then refuse to ever let them influence me in any way by deciding which it is by rolling a d6


d100 only works at all with an extremely narrow range of potential difficulties and an extremely narrow range of skills. And it's Imagine a situation where two people were trying to do the same task, and one had a 23% chance of success and the other had an 84% chance of success. You can imagine such a task and such a set of people, but both of them are kinda in way the fuck over their heads and they aren't actually that far apart in skill. The better candidate gets a better outcome less than two times in three and an outright worse outcome one time in 27.

Such a system clearly has no room for one character to be a little girl and another character to be a muscular luchador. Or at least, it cannot model tests of strength if characters vary that much on that axis. It pretty much craps out at anything more diverse or more competent than two students in the same math class.

-Frank
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Cervantes
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Cervantes wrote:
yeah the flip flop thing and matched successes/failures is a massive pain when trying to decouple the system from the d100

maybe i should just run that shit with FATE or whatever

e: afaik d100 roll-under basically just assumes a single difficulty threshold for all tasks. my bold idea to fix it is letting players auto-succeed if it's below, auto-fail if it's above, and then refuse to ever let them influence me in any way by deciding which it is by rolling a d6


d100 only works at all with an extremely narrow range of potential difficulties and an extremely narrow range of skills. And it's Imagine a situation where two people were trying to do the same task, and one had a 23% chance of success and the other had an 84% chance of success. You can imagine such a task and such a set of people, but both of them are kinda in way the fuck over their heads and they aren't actually that far apart in skill. The better candidate gets a better outcome less than two times in three and an outright worse outcome one time in 27.

Such a system clearly has no room for one character to be a little girl and another character to be a muscular luchador. Or at least, it cannot model tests of strength if characters vary that much on that axis. It pretty much craps out at anything more diverse or more competent than two students in the same math class.

-Frank
you can have some narrative interpretation of a skill % and then only let them roll when there's a challenge that would not be certain for that % - so as you get better you're better at uncertain tasks in general. so, at 90% Struggle you can rip phonebooks no problem, at 30% you'd either auto-fail or rip it 30% of the time.

but then we're doing MTP since this is why we have skill systems in the first place - to tell us what sorts of characters can do what sorts of things what % of the time. AND interpreting what %'s mean is fucking impossible since there's non-human things with percentile identities and whatnot. it really is completely unsalvageable, rolling dice is just a stick to beat the players with and the bes way to deal with it is to avoid it as much as you can

it works better for CoC bc in CoC you're playing replacable mooks who get shredded by horrors and easily avoidable car accidents. but UA3e has a whole fucking session 0 thing you spend a good 2+ hours creating a character that's part of the gameworld.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cervantes wrote:
you can have some narrative interpretation of a skill % and then only let them roll when there's a challenge that would not be certain for that % - so as you get better you're better at uncertain tasks in general. so, at 90% Struggle you can rip phonebooks no problem, at 30% you'd either auto-fail or rip it 30% of the time.


That's what people end up doing most of the time, but it's fucking horribad.

Essentially you're just admitting "Ou game mechanics don't work at all, how do the numbers written on the character sheet make you feel?"

-Frank
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